Angela D’Arezzo and her family inspired The Salty Mountain. At ten, in 1970, Angela came to the Bronx, New York, from a mountain village near Naples, Italy. Spanning three generations, the book is a story of love written from Angela’s perspective, and Appel worked closely with her to reconstruct details of defining experiences, including, WWII, immigration, and a life-changing diagnosis.
Religious faith, witchcraft, the German occupation, birth, death, survival and prayer underlie this family’s journey to America and their new life in Little Italy, the Bronx. It is a vibrant chronicle of events both humorous and deeply poignant, revealed through a breathtaking choreography of culture, geography and personalities, past and present that revolve around the importance of home and family.
Cathy Appel is a dancer, choreographer, clinician, writer and editor, with extensive experience in project, curriculum and program development. She has performed in many venues, such as New York City Center, The Esplanade in Boston and the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. Her writing has been published in literary and research journals, anthologies and textbooks, and she has presented her clinical and academic work nationally and internationally. She is the President/Artistic Director of Overtime Dance Foundation, Inc.
“Set in Southern Italy, The Salty Mountain is a captivating historical narrative of a family and their journey to America, weaving together the stories of three generations of women: Nonna, Mammuccèlla and Angela. A series of visceral missives transport us back to an uncertain and bucolic world, and a people driven by the power of religious faith, witchcraft and the miraculous force of life. Inside the mountainous landscape we encounter tales of lost church bells and the German occupation, meet a fortune-telling parrot and the postwoman who always carries a silver whistle. There is birth, death, survival and prayer.
In creating The Salty Mountain, D’Arezzo and Appel have produced a lyrical work that is utterly captivating and deeply human.” —Susanna Crossman, a British writer based in France.